Andrew G. Gifford CFP®
In 8th grade, while sitting next to my brother’s bedside while he received chemotherapy, I learned that life is unpredictable and you need to live in the moment and appreciate the opportunities life gives us, while overcoming the challenges it presents. I also learned that it isn’t the setback that is the difficult part. That part is emotionally straining, but it is the recovery that tests what we are made of. Marshall and I took up cycling as a way to help him gain strength and endurance. We created a rough training plan which added mileage each week, and slowly but surely my brother recovered. Today, I don’t recall exactly how many miles we logged that spring and summer on a Huffy 10-speed and Schwinn Traveler, but out of that experience grew our passion for cycling which it is still a big part of our lives today.
“I learned that life is unpredictable and you need to live in the moment and appreciate the opportunities life gives us...”
A month after my youngest daughter was born, my father fell and suffered a traumatic brain injury from which he never fully recovered. This was my second experience of seeing a strong and vibrant person reduced to a shell of themselves. However, our father’s recovery was not swift and it wasn’t complete. He returned home with in-home healthcare assistance, but continued to deteriorate. He then moved to the memory ward of an assisted living center and finally to nursing home facility before passing away. The stress this placed on our family was tremendous. Luckily, we had the proper planning in place to financially weather the event with the confidence that no matter what care or help our father needed, our family and our mother would be alright. I can’t imagine the strain of adding financial uncertainty on top of the already immense emotional burden. I keep my father’s brass fleur-de-lis paperweight, which he received upon attaining the rank of Eagle Scout, on my desk to remind me of that fact daily and to remind me of the importance of the work we do for the individuals and families we serve.
“Be prepared” is the Boy Scout Motto. My father, my brothers, and I are all Eagle Scouts and this motto has served us well throughout our lives. It encompasses a philosophy of being ready for the expected and the unexpected; prepared for all of the challenges we face in life whether physical, emotional, mental, or financial; and for today as well as 20 years from now. We help our clients build solid strategies to help achieve their goals, hold them accountable to those commitments, prepare for the unexpected, and help them live life to the fullest today while still planning for the future.
Andrew is a registered representative and investment advisor representative of Securian Financial Services, Inc.